I have an exercise for you. I want you to take a mental journey to the local Blockbuster Video store. Get in your car and imagine every turn right up until you walk through the front door. Check out the new releases on video and pick out your favorite.
[Pause here to take your mental journey.]
How is it going so far? Oh! There is no Blockbuster Video in your community? Hmm. But wasn’t it the dominant video rental franchise in this region for over two decades? What happened?
Red Box. Netflix. Hulu. Sling. On-Demand.
What was the problem? The video chain did not change. Well, it did change “some.” They converted from video to DVD. However, they did not look ahead and got outflanked by the competition.
How do you feel about change? I like to say that I like change so long as I agree with it! The reality is that change is constant. What worked in the past does not always work in the present, and what works in the present will not likely work in the future.
You don’t believe me? Ask a former employee from Blockbuster.
The same is true in the church. The same is true for any ministry or organization in today’s ever-changing climate. Change is not a possibility or an option. Change is now guaranteed. Failure to grasp this fact can have devastating effects.
Consider John G. Millers’ observations on this subject:
“Organizations need to move forward rather than looking back. In other words, to change … and the key to that is changing the way we think. Rather than being held back by rigid thinking and resistance to change, outstanding organizations recognize that change is going to happen anyway, whether people like it or not. Given the organic, constant, and inevitable nature of change, how could we think that what works today will work tomorrow?
“The reality is, if a strategy or tactic is working now, the odds are high that it won’t work in the future. There is just too much change taking place in our world for it to be any other way.”
He concludes with this:
“Simply put, outstanding organizations take charge of change by changing themselves first. For they know that, otherwise, change will happen to them – and if that happens, it might just be too late.”
You can be assured of this; Change WILL come. Transitions in life WILL take place. Here are four reasons that followers of Jesus Christ can be confident through change and transition;
- God already has a plan mapped out for you and it will be good. Jeremiah 29:11 reminds you, “For I know the plans I have for you” – this is the Lord’s declaration – “plans for your welfare, not for disaster, to give you a future and a ” (HCSB)
- Though every step of God’s plan may not be pleasant you can be sure it will ultimately be for your good. God is not seeking your harm, but He is seeking your growth. Most of your growth comes through the challenges you face rather than your blessings.
- Though stability is what you naturally prefer, it is not what will get you to where God wants you to be. Sometimes God has to change your circumstances to get you where you need to be.
- God will absolutely use those who put their trust in Him. You can be confident because God is always at work and you are a part of His plan.
Great words of wisdom for those who seek to remain confident through transition and change!
Steve Parr serves as a state missionary and chief strategist for the Georgia Baptist Mission Board.